Avery is 21 months old now--an age which probably bears no significance for anyone other than myself. But it's the age Wyatt was when Avery was born. And while I can't help but get a little nostalgic thinking about how quickly my babies have grown, I also can't help but let out mighty cries of joy that I survived what I consider to be the most difficult stages of motherhood. I SURVIVED! I rode out the very stormy seas of chronic sleep deprivation, eventually climbed out from underneath the mountain of dirty diapers suffocating me each day, mastered the art of reading minds and interpreting body language, and finally bid farewell to the baby-sized tumor I feared would forever be attached to my hip. Life, I must say, is pretty darn good right now. I teach, they learn. I speak, they listen. I hug them, they hug back (a much better alternative to being puked on).
Since our 3-week vacation to Oklahoma, Avery has come out of her once timid and incredibly fragile shell. Going back home was probably one of the best things we could have done for her (and for me). She now enjoys being the life of the party, and isn't bashful about telling her big bro to buzz off when he's being a pain in the neck.
Avery's latest quirk that cracks me up and baffles me beyond belief, is her preference for jackets. Just jackets. Not shoes, hair bows, or shirts. But jackets. Even today (at 3 years old), I could dress Wyatt in a loincloth and nothing else, and he'd be perfectly content as long as Thomas the train was chuggin' right behind him. But if I even attempt to dress Avery in jacket other than the one she has designated as her favorite, she will cross her arms in protest, fall to the floor, and plead, "no, no, no!""Good grief, " I tell her. "It's not a straight jacket. Just a nice alternative to the one that currently has snot, dirt, and applesauce all over it." But eventually she wins out, mostly because I think it's so stinkin' funny. Besides, it's sort of payback for all of my jackets she's drenched in snot, dirt, and applesauce.
One thing I've really looked forward to as a parent, is reading bedtime stories to both of my kids at the very same time in the very same bed. I don't know why, but it's just one of those things that gives me that warm, fuzzy feeling. And since the time change, Avery hasn't been quite as eager to go to bed at 7pm, so we've been allowing her to stay up a little later, which has presented the perfect opportunity to include her in Wyatt's bedtime routine. Wyatt absolutely loves it when Avery gets to snuggle in his bed for storytime.
After what seemed like an eternity of playing referee between them, we're now at a stage in which Wyatt and Avery mostly play very well together. She idolizes him. If he picks his nose, by golly, she wants to do it too. Wyatt is especially good about showing affection toward his baby sister, and I've even caught him on occasion sticking up for her when playing with the neighborhood kids. He has really made me proud, and it's exciting to see how close they've become as siblings. I managed to capture a little video of Eric dancing with the kids to one of the songs on our wedding CD, and while filming it, I couldn't help but rejoice in the moment and look forward to the many more precious moments to come.
It's exciting to look back and see how our family has evolved over the past 21 months. I'm thrilled (honestly) to be finished with the baby stage and moving on to functioning as a family unit, with everyone speaking the same language. Many people absolutely love and adore the baby stage, and to them I say, "I admire you. I wish I could be (or could have been) more like you. But nonetheless, I think you're a little bit off your rocker!"
Wine Selection: Kramer Vineyards Muller-Thurgau (2005) Personal Rating: ***Good*** Comments: Alone, this Oregon wine is incredibly sweet. Too sweet, in fact. But pair it with a spicy, Thai dish, and it is PHENOMENAL! If you're interested in trying this wine and don't have a good spicy Thai dish to make, let me know. I have the perfect recipe...if you like shrimp.
My Wine Personality:
For the most part I’m a chardonnay, as I consider myself to exhibit a somewhat sunny and mellow disposition
(most of the time), but because I find a tremendous amount of joy out of showering my two kids with hugs and
kisses, I also possess the subtle sweetness often found in a riesling. But don’t be fooled. I love a great
outdoor adventure and am willing to try anything once. This occasional display of boldness is thought to match
that of a cabernet, whereas my appreciation for nature suggests that I have an earthy component to my personality—very
characteristic of a merlot.
“Wine rejoices the heart of man and joy is the mother of all virtues.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1771